Environmental and Therapeutic Issues in Psychiatric Hospital Design: Toward Best Practices

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The psychiatric hospital environment plays a significant, though often underappreciated, role in patient and staff functioning. This column reviews the literature on important environmental and therapeutic issues in psychiatric hospital design. Research findings and clinical conjecture reported over the past 50 years indicate that intervening environmentally through clinically informed, patient-centered design can improve functioning both among and between patients and staff. This column identifies specific best practice considerations and recommendations for designing inpatient psychiatric facilities and may serve as a useful planning resource to those interested in adopting a patient-centered, inclusive approach to design and treatment.

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